Gower Bibliography

Ulysses in Gower's Confessio Amantis: The Christian Soul as Silent Rhetorician

Gittes, Katherine S.. "Ulysses in Gower's Confessio Amantis: The Christian Soul as Silent Rhetorician." ELN 24 (1986), pp. 7-14.


The five scattered episodes in which Ulysses' story appears do not follow the usual chronology of his legend, but their arrangement is coherent, and taken together, they represent a pilgrimage of the soul struggling between reason and passion that parallels in some ways the journey of Amans. Despite Ulysses' reputation as a rhetorician (cf. CA 7.1560) Gower suppresses all of his direct speech until the final episode in which he appears, when he forgives Telegonus after being mortally wounded (6.1747-48). His first use of speech completes the pattern of similarity to the story of Nebuchadnezzar in this tale, and suggests that in forgiving his son he undergoes a transformation from a lower state to a higher one, repudiating his previous disobedience and preparing himself for grace. "Gower has transformed the ancient pagan hero into a medieval Christian one." [PN. Copyright The John Gower Society: JGN 6.1]

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Confessio Amantis

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